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Turkey: Increase in anti-terror operations during Ramadan

Turkish authorities increase frequency of anti-terror operations across the country during Ramadan (May 27 - June 25)

17 Jun 04:01 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/17/2017, 12:00 AM until 6/25/2017, 11:59 PM (Turkey). COUNTRY/REGION Turkey

Event

Turkish authorities have increased the frequency of anti-terrorist operations carried out in the country since the beginning of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, which began on May 27. According to the Interior Ministry, from June 5 to June ​12, security forces conducted over 600 such operations, in which 16 suspected terrorists were killed, eight captured, and 14 surrendered. Hundreds more individuals were detained on suspicion of being connected with terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State (IS), the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and the Gülen Movement (FETÖ).​

On a separate note, curfews have been established in 59 villages in the Kurdish province of Diyarbakir - including the districts of Lice, Hazro, Kocakoy and Dicle - to facilitate military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The nightly curfews, in effect since May 31 until further notice, begin at 18:00 (local time).

Context

Ramadan is a period of reflection and self-restraint and it carries great significance within the Muslim calendar. Muslims traditionally observe daytime fasting and are called to practice increased devotion and abstain from certain activities. The period also marks a significant increase in the terrorist threat worldwide. During Ramadan in 2016, an attack carried out by three gunmen/suicide bombers at Istanbul-Atatürk International Airport (IST) left 44 people dead and scores more injured.

Advice

Due to the prevailing threat of terrorism, report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities and maintain a high degree of vigilance, especially when visiting sites deemed particularly vulnerable to an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, festivals, etc.). Some Western governments advise against travel to areas along the Syrian and Iraqi borders.

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